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Quick answer
"Un poco" is a phrase which is often translated as "a little", and "poco" is an adjective which is often translated as "little". Learn more about the difference between "un poco" and "poco" below.
un poco(
oom
 
poh
-
koh
)
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
phrase
1. (not a big amount)
a. a little
¿Le pones azúcar al café? - Solo ponle un poco.Do you want sugar in your coffee? - Just add a little.
b. some
Ha sobrado un poco. Lo podemos cenar esta noche.There's some left. We can have it for dinner tonight.
c. a bit
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
La conocía un poco del colegio.I knew her a bit from school.
2. (not excessively)
a. a little
¿Te sentó mal lo que te dijo? - Un poco.Were you hurt by what she said? - A little.
b. a bit
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
¿Todavía te duele la cabeza? - Un poco, pero ya me siento mejor.Does your head still hurt? - A bit, but I'm feeling better now.
3. (fairly)
a. a little
Estoy un poco cansado, así que me voy a dormir la siesta.I'm a little tired, so I'm going to have a siesta.
b. a bit
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
Es un poco tarde para llamar, ¿no crees?It's a bit late to call, don't you think?
4. (to a certain extent)
a. partly
Al final no se lo dije. Un poco porque pensé que no era el momento.I didn't tell him in the end. Partly because I thought it wasn't the right time.
b. a little
Es un poco lo que pasó en España también.It's a little like what happened in Spain too.
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poco(
poh
-
koh
)
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
1. (not much)
a. little
Nos queda muy poco vino para los invitados.We have very little wine left for the guests.
b. not much
Había poca agua caliente para la ducha.There wasn't much hot water to shower.
c. few (plural)
Pocos profesores dejan huella en sus alumnos como el Señor Blanco.Few teachers make an impression on their students like Mr. Blanco.
d. not many (plural)
Pocas personas asistieron al funeral.Not many people went to the funeral.
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
2. (little quantity)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Duerme muy poco los fines de semana.He doesn't sleep much on weekends.
Últimamente nos vemos muy poco.We don't see much of each other lately.
A pronoun is a word that stands in for a noun (e.g. she).
3. (little quantity)
a. little
Con lo poco que me quedaba, pude arreglarme.I was able to manage with the little I had left.
4. (small amount; often used with "un")
a. a little
Solo quiero un poco; estoy a dieta.I only want a little; I'm on a diet.
5. (short)
a. not long
Falta muy poco para las Navidades.It's not long till Christmas.
6. (not many)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Menos mal que pocos piensan como él.It's just as well not many people think like he does.
Hay pocos que se molestarían en ayudarlo como tú.There are few who would bother helping him like you do.
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